A sunny, warm day down by the river in Abingdon. A good game on a good deck. A win. Who would have thought?
Martin returned from the dead to lose the toss and have us bowl first. Watto and Bumby toiled hard, Watto getting the first breakthrough, earning Martin a reprieve for the first of the day's catalogue of dropped chances. The remaining opener was actually a pretty good batsman - although he was given a few chances. His partners were nothing special, but didn't need to be as he was scoring pretty freely. James C (henceforth known as Jacques) was pretty unlucky to come out with none for fifty - his spell deserved at least a couple of wickets. Neil (the lad we were loaned for the day to make it 10 per side) was a handy spinner, and they showed him due respect. He took one wicket, as well as a good catch to remove the opener and give Jules his first wicket for the club. Watto and Bumby came back at the end to have a go at the kiddies, Bumby being slightly more successful. 6 for 190 from 35.
We were confident that the target was well within reach, the ten man field and quick outfield compensating for not the longest batting lineup in history. A good patient start was made by Watto and Chalky, their cynical teammates taking bets on who would crack first. It was Watto, but not until the 14th over with the total on 68. I joined Chalky in time to see them bring a quimmer on, so we continued to keep the scoreboard ticking along nicely. I succumbed to delusions of grandeur. Shortly thereafter, Charles fired Chalky. To be fair to Charles I probably would have as well, if only because to ball should have been hit for 4 at the least. Sure, he may look like a man with no elbows swinging a railway sleeper, but Chalky on form is always a good thing to watch. Jacques got himself out, leaving Martin and Jez to make the final push. Martin showed good form, weeks of not bowling in the nets obviously having a positive effect on his batting. Jez claimed kitpack duty with a handy 14, as Charles went out to watch Martin hit the winning runs. Good win.
(Not having to captain, keep, bowl or field very much, as it turned out, makes a huge difference to the game. I was bored out of my skull!)